RAWALPINDI, June 26: Hundreds of applicants for the posts of police constable were baton charged and lobed with tear gas shells after they blocked a VIP route near Jinnah Park in protest against postponement of the recruitment process on Tuesday.
The blockade of the road before the movement of military top brass sparked panic among the police high-ups who rushed to the scene and used force to disperse the angry youth.
Eyewitnesses said a large number of applicants after submitting the application forms had come to see their names on the lists of selected candidates for the measurement process.
However, they became angry after being informed that the recruitment process had been postponed for two months apparently due to the summer days.
When Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Israr Abbasi was contacted, he said the police had tried their best to convince the angry applicants that the recruitment process was not cancelled but postponed due to the hot summer days because in the past there had been a death during the recruitment process in Faisalabad.
He said the police had to use sticks and fire a few teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
The blockade of the busy roads around Kutchery Chowk caused massive traffic jam and inconvenience to the commuters. In retaliation to the police action, the protesters threw stones but shortly afterwards they were forced to disperse.
Some, of the protesting candidates were also rounded up by the police and later freed.
According to a senior police official, more than 10,000 youth have applied for the 600 posts after purchasing the application forms for Rs25 each, though the forms were provided to the department by the government free of cost.
SP Israr Abbasi said: “No separate funds have been allocated by the government for expenses to be incurred on the recruitment process; therefore, the revenue generated from the sale of the forms will be spent on drinking water, stationery and other arrangements.”
It may be noted that the chief minister has approved recruitment of 10,000 constables every year to overcome the shortage of staff in the police.